10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Cecil the lion Empire State BuildingREUTERS/Eduardo MunozAn image of Cecil the lion is projected onto the Empire State Building as part of an endangered species projection to raise awareness, in New York August 1, 2015.

Happy Monday! Here’s what you need to know.

The Greek stock market is crashing. The Greek stock market reopened for the first time in five weeks, and it’s ugly. The benchmark ASE index plummeted 22.8% before recovering some of its losses. Piraeus Bank and National Bank of Greece crashed the maximum 30% before being halted.

The Greek economy is crashing. Greece’s economy screeched as political turmoil took over. The Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reflected a record contraction, crashing to 30.2 in July from 46.9 in June. Any reading below 50 signals contraction. “Manufacturing output collapsed in July as the debt crisis came to a head,” Markit’s Phil Smith said. “Factories faced a record drop in new orders and were often unable to acquire the inputs they needed, particularly from abroad, as bank closures and capital restrictions badly hampered normal business activity. Demand was hit amid the heightened uncertainty surrounding Greece’s future, leading both total new business and exports to contract sharply, and it remains to be seen how long it takes these to recover.”

The rest of Europe is doing much better. The composite eurozone manufacturing PMI signalled growth, registering at 52.4 in July, which was higher than the earlier estimate of 52.2. Germany, Spain, and Italy all grew. “The eurozone manufacturing economy showed encouraging resilience in the face of the Greek debt crisis in July,” Markit’s Chris Williamson noted. “The PMI held close to its June level, which had been the highest for over a year, coming in ahead of the earlier flash estimate largely on the back of stronger than previously recorded growth in Germany.”

China is definitely slowing. China’s official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.0 in July from 50.2 in June. China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI fell to 47.8 in July from 49.4 in June; this was the weakest reading since July 2013. The numbers were just as ugly in Taiwan, Indonesia, and South Korea.

Markets are mixed. Europe is mostly up with Germany’s DAX up 0.4%, France’s CAAC 40 up 0.3%, and Spain’s IBEX up 0.3%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.9%, and China’s Shanghai composite tumbled 1.1%. US futures are down modestly with Dow futures down 11 points, S&P futures down 2.2 points, and Nasdaq futures down 4.7 points.

Get ready for a ton of data. Today, we’ll get reports on US personal income and spending (8:30 a.m ET), manufacturing (9:45 a.m and 10 a.m.),construction spending (10 a.m.), and auto sales (all day). This, as we kick off jobs week in America. Read our complete preview in BI’s Monday Scouting Report.

HSBC beats. “
HSBC Holdings beat expectations with a 10% rise in first-half profit thanks to a strong performance in Hong Kong and said it had agreed a $US5.2 billion sale of its business in Brazil,” Reuters reported. “Europe’s biggest bank by market value is to sell the unprofitable Brazilian arm to Banco Bradesco SA, Brazil’s second-biggest private-sector bank, for a higher than expected 17.6 billion reais ($US5.2 billion).”

Puerto Rico will default. “Puerto Rico will miss a payment on debt due Aug. 1, the governor’s chief of staff said on Friday, an event that will be considered a default by investors as the commonwealth lurches towards what could be one of the largest U.S. municipal debt restructurings in history,” Reuters reported. “The missed payment will mark the first default by the commonwealth and shows the depth of the island’s economic and cashflow problems. Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla shocked investors in June when he said the island’s debt, totaling $US72 billion, was unpayable and required restructuring.”

Private equity pioneer Jerome Kohlberg has died. “
Jerome Kohlberg Jr., a founder of investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and a pioneer of the leveraged buyout, died on Thursday at his home in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, aged 90,” Reuters reported. “Kohlberg’s death was confirmed by his former partners at KKR on Saturday. His son, James, said the cause of death was cancer.”

Bitcoin CEO arrested. “Mark Karpeles, the head of the collapsed MtGox Bitcoin exchange who was arrested in Tokyo, is facing fresh allegations that he misused $US8.9 million in customers’ deposits, Japanese media reported Sunday,” AFP said. “French-born Karpeles, 30, was arrested on Saturday after a series of fraud allegations led to the Tokyo-based exchange’s spectacular collapse last year and hammered the digital currency’s reputation.”

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